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– The Citroën Racing Trophy UK Series arrives at Ulster this weekend after an eleven-week break
– Desi Henry leads the Trophy standings after four rounds
– Belfast driver Jonny Greer is looking forward to his home round

Round five of the MSA British Rally Championship, the Ulster International Rally, starts at lunchtime on Friday, taking in six special stages, before eight stages are tackled on Saturday ahead of the tea time finish in Antrim. Some daunting strips of tarmac lie ahead, including the famous Torr Head stage, which runs right along the coast-line of the Irish Sea. You can see as far as the Mull of Kintyre from this road which runs from Ballycastle to Cushendun, but the DS3 R3 mounted Citroën Racing Trophy drivers will have no time to admire the awesome views as they tackle it twice on Friday.

After an eleven-week break in the Citroën Racing Trophy UK Series, the seven DS3 R3 mounted crews are eagerly awaiting what is one of the most challenging and demanding rounds of the series. The DS3s are poised at the top of the British Rally Championship, with Tom Cave jointly leading with Fiesta mounted Elfyn Evans and DS3 mounted Keith Cronin next on the points table. Keith is in a favourable position when it comes to dropped scores. Osian Pryce is fifth in the table, with Jonny Greer sixth, Desi Henry eighth, and Jarkko Nikara tenth. Sadly Jarkko who has shown good speed all season will not be contesting the Ulster International, but a new recruit for this event is Longford’s Tommy Doyle, who recently sold his R3 Clio, and has now joined the ranks of DS3 drivers. Tommy made his debut in the DS3 on last weekend’s Tipperary Stonethrowers Rally, finishing 11th overall and second in class, and has enjoyed much success in the past few seasons at home, and even on the IRC Ypres Rally abroad.

Leading the Citroën Racing Trophy UK standings after four rounds is Portglenone’s Desi Henry, who was also testing in Tipperary taking a fine 8th overall and winning the class. Cronin is second in the points’ race, but on dropped scores would be leading the Trophy, after only joining the Citroen ranks on the second round. His Jim Clark Rally victory makes him a hot favourite for this event and he’s been doing some testing with the Autosport Technology team to get back into the groove this week.

On the Jim Clark it was Tom Cave who was challenging Keith the most. The 20-year-old Welsh driver is very much in form at present, and has been very busy in the interim period, winning the Rally of Thailand in an S2000 car, and the Coracle Stages in the Welsh forests in a Group N car.

A test this week will see him reacquaint himself with the R3 class DS3. “I’m feeling quietly confident at this stage. I feel that, recently, my driving is the best it has ever been and that helps my confidence enormously. My tarmac performance also seems to have improved over the last year or so, so I’m aiming for a top three finish in Ulster. It’s not going to be easy though, that’s for sure. I think the plan is to be on the pace on Friday for the first six stages so that I’m not on the back foot for Saturday. Sensible but fast with no mistakes.”

Jonny Greer, who works in the family DGM Sport business in Carryduff, near Belfast is looking forward to his home round of the series, after claiming third place on the Jim Clark. He also took part in Tipperary last Sunday, claiming 13th overall and third in class. Osian Pryce who was fifth on the Jim Clark has also been testing this week in his Davies Motorsport Services run car, whilst James Grint is his AVS Motorsport run car will be starting his first event on Irish tarmac, so it will be a learning experience for the young man from Chepstow. Also competing in a DS3, but not registered for the series is Callum Black, in his appropriate black DS3, and he claimed ninth on the Jim Clark event.

You can follow the progress of the Citroën Racing Trophy including end of stage interviews, results and in-car footage via Facebook at facebook.com/citroenracingtrophyor on Twitter @crtrophy and via YouTube.

MANUFACTURER STANDINGS AFTER ROUND FOUR

1 Citroën UK 147pts
2 Renault UK  119
3  Ford Motor Co  118

CITROËN RACING TROPHY UK AFTER ROUND FOUR

1 Desi Henry 61pts
2 Keith Cronin 58
3 Tom Cave  54
4 Osian Pryce 48
5 Jonny Greer  45
6 James Grint 38
7 Jarkko Nikara 34

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